Grower Profile: Georgia Savage

What do you do when you rent a house slated for demolition within the next year? Surely starting a garden would be a waste of time, right? Wrong. Georgia Savage’s garden started in exactly these circumstances. Her and her partner moved into their house on a short-term lease, knowing of its future. Their dog had free reign of the garden for the first six months as they decided there was no point growing things, but as spring sprung and the existing plants came alive Georgia couldn’t resist any longer.

Rather than seeing the property’s impending demolition as a constraint, they saw it as an opportunity, and proceeded to build garden beds, planter boxes, a vertical herb garden, a greenhouse and a chicken coop. Wowzers?!

I asked Georgia some questions about her garden. Here’s her story:

What draws you to plants/gardening?

I really love the meditative, grounding aspect of gardening. I’m also a bit of a nurturer in the garden – I love watching tiny little seeds grow into plants that produce colourful and nutritious vegetables.

I am absolutely hopeless at thinning out seedlings and often end up putting the weakest seedling into the best position – I like to support the underdog in nature! With a little bit of love, these plants always produce plenty to eat.

Why do you grow your own vegetables?

It’s just so satisfying to plant a little seedling, water it and feed it, watch it grow bigger and then harvest it’s produce.

Producing my own food also makes me a part of my food system, and helps me to appreciate how hard farmers must work to grow what they do.

I love having fresh produce on hand for our own meals, and to give it away to friends and family – it really is the ultimate gift. I also volunteer at CERES in East Brunswick once a week as a gardener. CERES is an incredible learning environment – helping people understand how and why they should grow their own vegetables.

What lessons have you learnt from growing this garden? 

I think the best lesson I have learnt from growing this garden in particular is to live more in the moment! Rather than forgetting about the garden because we might not be able to enjoy it in the future, I jumped in and it has already been so rewarding in the short-term.

I have also learnt to just get into it and give it a go. I have failed many times in many garden beds but I always learn a lesson and nature is kind enough to provide more seeds and seedlings to try again.

Why did you decide to get involved in the GIL feast? 

I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to connect backyard growers with each other. It’s been great to see people’s pictures on Facebook and Instagram and I’m looking forward to hopefully meeting some of them and their produce in person at the Grow It Local Feast.

For me gardening has always been quite a solitary activity, and it’s great to begin to share my gardening adventures and produce with other people.

What are you growing for the Grow It Local feast? 

I’m hoping to have lots of greens on hand including the chard and kale. The corn and pomegranates will be ready in about a month’s time, and I’m sure to still have some limes.

This story is part of a series we are producing in collaboration with Grow It Local to promote their Melbourne Growers Feast on the 1st of March, 2015.  If you live in Melbourne, you really should drop by the Grow It Local website, register your patch and get gardening! The owners of the top 50 most creative and unique patches will each win a double pass the event. A no brainer, right? GET GROWING PEOPLE!

PS. We were paid a small amount of money by Grow It Local to help cover some of the costs associated with producing this story.

Images by Abigail Varney